Guns on Board?

It's a volatile topic. Are they a good thing or not? We want to hear from you. "Community Spotlight" from our November 25, 2009, CW Reckonings.

Would you use a flare gun
Would you use a flare gun (or something more powerful) to defend yourself if you needed to?Marianne Lee

Two stories that ran in CW recently have stirred up a debate regarding the pros and cons of carrying a gun onboard. Webb Chiles tells a chilling tale of an encounter with pirates off Indonesia in "A Close Call With Pirates". He did not have a gun aboard, but he was ready to fight with some interesting "weapons" including a flare gun.

My story, "Several Ounces of Prevention," discusses techniques cruisers use to protect their boats against theft, and also touched on the idea of carrying a gun on board, but did not make a recommendation either way. That non-stance stirred up a passionate response from reader David Lloyd of Williamsburg, Virginia. He writes, "Once again, CW has let its pacifistic, liberal editorial bias against guns appear in print."

Now, I'm not going to engage with Mr. Lloyd's curious beliefs (we're a sailing magazine not a news or gun magazine), but he does raise an interesting question: Are guns on board a good thing or not?

So let's hear it. Log on to the _CW_ Forums to join the discussion.